Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Art of Grounding

Over the past two days I have physically exerted myself more than usual. Yesterday I went on a considerable run and today a 32-mile bike ride. What I’ve discovered these last two days is that I haven’t been paying much attention to the lower half of my body. During my run, in particular, I found myself tuning into the weight of my body as it hit the earth with each stride. I heard the crunch of my shoes against the gravel and felt how my joints endured the force of my body as if moved through space. As I write this entry, my hips, thighs, knees, and feet are aching. In some ways I like this feeling because I’m reminded that the lower half of my body actually exists.

Like most of us, I spend a considerable amount of time living in my heart, throat, and head. My stress and worry seem to collect in these upper chakras, and over time, I neglect the foundation of my body: the Root or First Chakra.

This First Chakra extends from the coccyx to the toes and it is the chakra that teaches the art of grounding. This chakra, in its simplest description, is about survival—our primal and instinctual need to survive and protect ourselves. It is also about living in the present moment, in your body, and feeling the life-giving earth beneath your feet. When this chakra is closed or neglected it is easy to feel “spacey,” unclear, worried, anxious, and stuck.

How can you feel more grounded?

Try one of these:

* Walk or run. Feel your feet against the earth. Connect with the lower half of your body as you move by listening to the sounds you make when your body meets the earth.

* Jump up and Down or Dance. Pretend you are a kid again and playfully jump up and down. Even better: find a soft piece of earth and jump or dance on it while barefoot. Feel dirt sift through your toes.

* Rest. Yes – rest! Turn off your brain for a while and sink into the being that is your body. Find a comfortable spot to relax and bring your consciousness down to your legs and feet. Feel the weight of your legs and let this weight sink into your couch, chair, or bed.

* Foot bath. Fill a tub with some warm water and a few drops of something fragrant if you like (something earthy like ginger, bergamot, or cedar essential oils would be nice). Draw the energy from your body down to your feet and notice if you feel any different. More grounded, perhaps?

Image credit: Root Chakra image above from the Akashan Pathways website.


Ana R. said...

What about a bit of gardening?
Or walking barefook on the grass, in a city park? I´ve tried both and its very energetic, not tiring.

Courtney Putnam said...

Yes -- these are great ideas, Ana. I feel quite grounded when I work with the earth, when I get my hands dirty. And, walking barefoot on grass is divine. I feel very connected to my feet--and the earth--when I do this.

Thanks for these suggestions!